2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons have history on their side against Seattle

    2013-01-08 03:12

Updates. With AP Photos.
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons have more than home-field advantage to help them against Seattle in the playoffs.

The Falcons also have history on their side.

The Seahawks won their wild-card game at Washington and will have to make another cross-country trip for Sunday's game at Atlanta.

According to STATS LLC, the 1989 Los Angeles Rams are the only West Coast team to win back-to-back postseason games on the East Coast - at Philadelphia and the New York Giants. STATS' research included teams from Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona.

Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo downplayed the Seahawks' repeat trip across the nation.

``It's not like they're going to be going to the moon or anything,'' Clabo said Monday. ``They have a schedule they follow when they travel and I'm sure they're going to keep it the same.''

The Falcons claimed the top seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record. They also held the top seed two years ago before losing at home to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay. They lost last year's playoff opener at the Giants to fall to 0-3 in the postseason under coach Mike Smith.

Smith said he adjusted last week's practice schedule based on lessons learned in the bye week two years ago. Players had more time off before the loss to the Packers.

``We did it a little bit different this time,'' Smith said. ``We worked a little bit longer. I think one of the things we had to do was to get some work done between playing games. We needed to work on some things fundamentally that we didn't do well at the end of the season.''

Fundamentals were emphasized in four practices Wednesday through Saturday. The team was off Sunday and met Monday morning for its first briefing on the Seahawks.

``I think if you do it the same and you didn't get the results you want, that's probably not the right way to approach it,'' Smith said. ``We approached it differently this time.''

Clabo said there were no complaints from the players.

``We needed to work on some things,'' Clabo said. ``We're not perfect. As a player and as a team you're always striving to find things you can improve. We did a little self-scout and said `Let's do this.'

``It was good but it was quick. Coach Smith wanted it to be quick so it didn't run us into the ground or anything like that. I think everyone was on board with doing whatever it took to win this game.''

Smith said he hopes the bye week gives three defensive starters a chance to play against Seattle: defensive end John Abraham (left ankle), cornerback Dunta Robinson (concussion) and safety William Moore (hamstring).

Abraham and Robinson were hurt in a 22-17 loss to Tampa Bay to close the regular season. Moore missed the last four games but returned to practice last week.

Smith, who doesn't provide a full injury report before Wednesday, said Abraham will participate in Wednesday's first practice of the week.

``We will have almost a full boat,'' Smith said. ``We won't have everybody there.

``The workload for some of these guys was limited last week and this week we'll limit some early in the week and hopefully we'll have everybody ready to go by the end of the week.''

Smith said the three postseason losses in his first four seasons left this Falcons team better prepared for success.

``We're a much more mature team because of our experiences,'' he said. ``I think you learn from your previous experiences in the playoffs. This is a team that has been very focused from the very beginning of the season and we've got a lot of guys who have experienced the playoff atmosphere. They're going to be able to help some of the younger guys who haven't.''

The playoff losses have raised the pressure on Smith and the Falcons to end the drought, even if the coach insists his approach will not change.

``To me it's no different than any other game,'' Smith said. ``It's 100 percent on our football team to go out and play our best, whether it's a preseason game or regular-season game or whether it's the postseason.

``I think every team that's in this tournament respects every other team. I don't think there's anybody not respecting other teams. This is a very good football team. We feel like we accomplished what we needed to accomplish to get here and we are looking forward to playing against Seattle this weekend.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Anthony SpencerJul 25 12:12a

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) said he is feeling good but is not sure when he will be able to start practicing. Spencer said he is not sure [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 24 05:02p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's long-awaited contract extension is highly unlikely to occur before the start of training camp, according to a source. The Lions commence training camp Sunday, July 27.

Vince WilforkJul 24 04:52p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said he doesn't have any limitations, or he wouldn't be practicing.

Aaron RossJul 24 04:42p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has been placed on Injured Reserve. Ross will miss the entire season with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Terrance WestJul 24 04:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed), DT Jacobbi McDaniel (undisclosed), OG Jeremiah Warren and OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed) returned to the team's active roster Thursday, July 24.

Corey PetersJul 24 04:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') plans to be back for Atlanta's season-opener, saying he's optimistic and is feeling good.

Kevin BurnettJul 24 04:12p

The Oakland Raiders have cut LB Kevin Burnett.

D.J. HaydenJul 24 04:02p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is out for the start of training camp with a stress fracture in his foot.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 24 03:42p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not take any reps in practice Thursday July 24, as he continues to rehab from a hamstring injury.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is expected to miss one-to-two weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Stewart will not be placed on [ More ]

Laron LandryJul 24 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts CB Vontae Davis (undisclosed) and FS LaRon Landry (undisclosed) both did not participate in practice Thursday, July 24.

Jason HatcherJul 24 02:42p

Washington Redskins DT Jason Hatcher (knee) said he is progressing pretty quickly from a knee injury. I want to get back on the field, but I know I've got [ More ]

Chase FordJul 24 02:12p

Minnesota Vikings TE Chase Ford (foot) had a procedure on his left foot last week for a stress fracture and is expected to miss training camp.

Justin BlackmonJul 24 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon will not be cut by the team after his most recent arrest, according to owner Shad Khan. 'We want him to get help he needs,' Khan said.

Jamaal WestermanJul 24 02:02p

The Cleveland Browns signed LB Jamaal Westerman (Steelers) Thursday, July 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Taylor LewanJul 24 01:52p

The Tennessee Titans signed OL Taylor Lewan Thursday, July 24. Per NFL rules, the length of the contract is four years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Larry DonnellJul 24 01:32p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is listed as the team's starting tight end on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp.

Tre BostonJul 24 01:02p

Carolina Panthers SS Tre Boston (hernia) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list Thursday, July 24.

Jonathan StewartJul 24 12:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team will leave him on the active roster heading into training camp.

Cam NewtonJul 24 12:42p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) was cleared for practice, according to general manager David Gettleman.

Rob GronkowskiJul 24 12:12p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, July 24. He worked for an hour and 15 minutes before watching the rest of the activities. [ More ]

Anthony SpencerJul 24 12:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform List Thursday, July 24.

Aaron RossJul 24 11:52a

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') has torn his Achilles' tendon.

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group